Thursday, November 3, 2011

Bat Shit ~Rebirth ~ Artistic Expression

Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can.

- Danny Kaye

It was planned as a romantic end to a day moving to their dream home in Diamond Bar. After a long day of unpacking, Cathy's husband met her in their master bedroom suite, where she settled in to what else- a love seat. Freshly bathed, Ed carried up the stairs a silver tray with 2 crystal glasses and a favorite sherry. 

It was near dusk. The stereo was tuned to soft music, Ed opened the French doors leading to their balcony. He massaged Cathy's shoulders. The fresh air and sherry worked in concert to let the massage ramp towards some marital bliss.  Ed began to tell Cathy how much he loved her, when in flew the bats.

According to Dirt Works, which sells bat poop (i.e., guano) "Many civilizations have used guano as a soil amendment and considered it sacred, so much so that disturbing rookeries was once a crime punishable by death. Fortunately, you can buy Bat Guano from us and only good things will happen when you do."

It took awhile for the new butterfly to shake its wings out to fly
Earlier in the month I watched the striped caterpillar park on this post. Soon, a green acorn shaped chrysalis was glued in its place. Some days later it turned brown and ugly- like a tumorous growth.  Just when I wondered if a butterfly died en utero, somehow this beautiful winged wonder worked its way out of the encasement.

Not strong enough to fly, I gently lifted it to cradle in soft planting until it flew away.

The actual pattern with our garden features
Enlarging the photo of the inspiration piece 400 % rendered a pattern to manipulate for the stained glass insert in the dutch door. Personalizing with a replica of our Victorian bird feeder, changing the birds to western US species and colorizing closer to our personal vision of paradise. 

As this is a collabortive piece to be displayed in our home,  I gave my husband the final thumbs up on the color, texture and light qualities of the glass selected. 

It didn't used to be this way in our home. My husband has always been an intensely busy man. For many years he spent more time with his suitcase than with his recliner. During those years I made lots of arbitrary decisions. My intent was to smooth things out for him. Turned out this was exactly the wrong thing to do if a man is to feel important to his wife. 

Fortunately, I learned to use some discernment in decision-making.   Young brides, I am not saying this is an easier process- however, the results are richer. 

The artistic use of glass enriches a humble setting 

It was probably 50 years ago, before Knott's Berry Farm had a real roller coaster, charged for parking or admission. This stained glass window in Knott's Chicken Diner  was the seed that grew into a love of windows adorned with stained glass. There is something comforting to see these windows still in place all these years later.

The choir of Mt Calvary Lutheran Church, Diamond Bar
The purpose of life's downturns may be to keep us humble. To keep us aware. To remember to include God as collaborator of how our lives are painted. It has been so long since Gerry and I were both in church at the same time, I'm glad the topic of the sermon was "The world is going to end" with our presence was used as proof. 

The choir sang Martin Luther's "A Mighty Fortress is Our God. " The battle hymn of the reformation still inspires strength in chords nearly 500 years after it was first sung. 

Never doubt the power of words and music. From  his unimaginable personal pain, Martin Luther could not have imagined the lasting impact of his artistic expression. 


  1. Lydia,

    I will try this again.
    I want to know who drew and colored in that gorgeous picture for the stained glass window! It is an amazing picture!
    I had to chuckle at the story of the couple's first night in the new house. Sounded so sweet and romantic but it bore no resemblance to our first night in our new house. Can you say complete exhaustion? Yikes! No bats either! lol

    For years when our first two boys were very young I tried to take a load off husband's shoulders by doing everything around our first house myself. I mowed the lawn with a push mower, did all the painting of rooms and everything I could do to help him. Big mistake! I learned the hard way that he didn't feel needed. I backed off and now let him do most things around the house. I now depend on him for soooo much and I am sure he appreciates that because I let him know that he is so appreciated and is our rock!

    Hugs to you both!
    XOXO Trisha

  2. Hey, Trish! Sorry to hear you had problems posting. Thank you for keeping at it!

    I am the responsible party for how the 400 pieces are now colored in the revised and resized pattern.

    It's a fine line between helping a man and making him feel unneeded. Glad we figured it out. For us, our husbands and for our sons.

  3. From the ridiculous to the sublime!
    Very funny about the Bats--though I'm sure it wasn't to them, till!

    And your Stained Glass Window is just GORGEOUS!!! As a child, I first became aware of the great beauty of Stained Glass in our Temple, where we went to Friday night services and all Holidays....I can still see them in my minds eye, even though it is over fifty years since I have been in that sanctuary....!

    There is such great great beauty in that stunning Butterfly, my dear...!

    I hope all is well, Lydia.

  4. Loved the stained glass, and can't wait to see the finished piece!

  5. I have always been attracted to stained glass windows...especially on churches.

    The idea of bats in the house freaks me out.

  6. That butterfly photo is incredible. It's just the most miraculous thing that a caterpillar crawled in there and out came that magnificent butterfly. Woah!!!



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